Furukawa Miki: Mirrors

Supercar will definitely be missed.

Like Number Girl or fra-foa, the sum of Supercar was greater than its parts. The chemistry between the band’s four members — Nakamura Koji, Furukawa Miki, Ishiwatari Junji and Tozawa Kodai — gave Supercar a forceful presence as a unit.

Now that unit has disbanded, and it’s a challenge for a listener (that is, me) to see past the whole and to appreciate the individuals.

Ishiwatari and Tozawa have gone onto production and session work. Nakamura embarked on an impenetrable electronica project named iLL. Furukawa, on the other hand, picks up where Supercar left off.

Mirrors, Furukawa’s debut solo album, features the mix of British rock and electronica that fueled Supercar’s muse.

A few tracks manage to conjure up the band’s earliest years, before they ever heard of the Chemical Brothers.

"Over You" opens the album with a mid-tempo rocker reminiscent of the solo work by Higurashi Aiha (Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her).

"7 Stars" has the pop feel of Luminous Orange or Ride, while "Chick, Schick Radio" puts a rock spin on a dance beat without depending on a drum machine or synthesizer.

"Sunburst" closes the album with a heaviness at odds with the rest of the album, but it makes for a nice surprise.

A good part of the album does still rely on said synthesizers and drum machines. "Sekai no Sasayaki" does a better job of being Nirgilis than recent Nirgilis.

"I Love U", "Coffe & Singing girl!!!" and "Mutter of Metal" could have been outtakes from Highvision, while "Alabama" and "Freedom" could have come from the sessions for Answer.

Furukawa collects a strong set of songs for this album with no dead spots to gum up the works.

While Mirrors sounds like it was borne of the same creative mind as a Supercar album, it is also evident that it is not.

Yes, the chemistry of the old band is distinctly missing from this album, but its creative heart is totally in tact. If anything, it’s reassuring to know Supercar lives on after a fashion, but Furukawa is not living in the past.

Mirrors is an album reflective of her voice exclusively. What she brought to Supercar is laid out in plain view for listeners to hear.